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What is Hyper-Convergence?

Technology evolves so quickly it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest buzzwords. Hyper-convergence, one of the tech industry’s newest trends, is a term that is frequently used without explanation – but it’s important for business owners to understand the technology that forms the backbone of their companies.

So what exactly is hyper-convergence? And how can it benefit your business?

Right now, there are three primary kinds of IT infrastructure, each building on the one that came before it:

Non-converged infrastructure utilizes physically distinct hardware components to perform separate functions. In this system, application servers, data storage devices, and networking devices are all individual pieces of hardware that are treated as isolated units.

You can think of non-converged infrastructure like using a camera to take photos, a landline phone to make calls, and a calculator to perform simple math functions.

In this scenario, each device needs to be configured and managed individually, and may come from different vendors, meaning third-party support and warranties would also be handled on an individual basis.

Converged infrastructure combines application servers, storage devices, and networking switches into a single pre-configured bundle of hardware and software that is sold by one vendor. Different devices are still needed to perform each function, but they are intentionally integrated into a single chassis.

Converged infrastructure is the equivalent of a smartphone, in which your camera, your phone, and your calculator are combined into one piece of hardware but still need to be accessed separately.

The downside to convergence is that, because the entire product stack is pre-configured, there is little flexibility to adapt to workload changes.

 

 

Hyper-converged infrastructure is similar to converged infrastructure, but the most important change is made at a software level. (You may also hear hyper-confergence referred to as software-defined infrastructure.) Hyper-convergence combines two previously separate functions (called storage and compute) into one device that is managed and purchased from a single vendor.

Less time is needed to configure the entire solution, because the technology is integrated. This also allows hyper-converged infrastructure to be managed as a single system, rather than separate devices.

Hyper-convergence is designed for virtualized environment. The software provides flexibility in utilizing hardware resources while making the deployment and management of VMs easier than ever before.

The flexibility in hardware usage is produced by a system of nodes that form an integrated cluster and are designed to allow for automatic failover of your applications and data. In addition to being a high availability system, hyper-convergence provides easy scalability. If more computing power is needed, your IT team can add another node to the cluster without the need for any downtime. If more storage is needed, the answer is the same – simply add another node.


Hyper-converged systems offer the following benefits:

  • Flexibility – hyper-convergence makes it easy to scale up or down as the demand for resources changes.
  • Cost efficiency – hyper-converged infrastructure results in lower capital expenditure as the result of cheaper upfront prices for hardware and lower operating costs through reductions in operational expenses and personnel.
  • High availability – as mentioned previously, the system of nodes utilized in hyper-converged systems ensures automatic failover, no downtime for modifications, and a higher level of availability than in legacy forms of infrastructure.
  • Data protection – the automatic failover between nodes ensures that your data isn’t tied to a single, vulnerable piece of hardware.
  • Data efficiency – hyper-converged infrastructure reduces storage, bandwidth, and IOPS requirements.
  • Focus on virtualization – hyper-converged systems don’t just allow for virtualization – they’re designed for it.

If you still have questions about hyper-convergence, or want to learn more about how hyper-converged infrastructure can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of experts look forward to discussing it with you.